It’s a cold morning in Flagstaff and the sun is still low in the winter sky.
Business partners Ryan Holtz and Jim Corning have positioned a photovoltaic panel to face southeast.
When they plug it in, a digital monitor starts measuring the amount of energy being produced by the sun.
“Wow. 159 watts, 160, cool,” says Jim Corning, a partner in Plug and Play Solar Kits of Arizona. “Now, we’re out from behind the cloud a little more. 178. Part of the fun is messing around with these things and getting them pointed right and seeing the output.”
The National League of Cities has chosen to recognize Flagstaff for its achievements in climate and weather preparedness. The city is the first in the country to adopt a climate event policy for all municipal operations.
An eligibility assessment conducted by the National Park Service has concluded that almost 97 percent of Wupatki National Monument, north of Flagstaff, is eligible for a formal wilderness study. The 1964 Wilderness Act and 2006 NPS Management Policies require that all areas managed by the National Park Service are reviewed to determine if they meet criteria for wilderness designation. President Calvin Coolidge established the Monument in 1924 to protect the abundant prehistoric archaeological sites in the area, which span at least ten thousand years.
Later this year, the Mars Rover Curiosity is scheduled to begin its longest road trip yet, to Mount Sharp. That’s a three-mile-high mountain on Mars that tells the planet’s geologic history in the same way the Grand Canyon’s exposes earth’s. But getting Curiosity to its ultimate destination depends on maps and cameras. That’s where Flagstaff’s office of the U.S. Geological Survey comes in.